Step 4: Taking Action With Career Planning

What you’ll find on this Career Planning page . . .Step 4 Taking Action

  1. What It Means to Have a ‘Management Plan’
  2. Today’s Workplace vs. Yesterday’s
  3. The Workplace In Transition
  4. Link to: How to Take Care of Your ‘Career’

What It Means to Manage Your ‘Job’

Managing your job is the way to protect yourself from the periodic fluctuations in the workplace, that come along every few years, in response to the demands of the competition.
So when other people are waking up scared that they soon won’t have a job to go to, you’re calmly carrying out your next move, as part of the plan you already have in place.
You’re not waiting around for someone else to decide what they are going to do with you or your job.

  • Having a ‘Career’ means you are taking responsibility for your future
  • That puts balance back into your work life and your personal life, because you’re not threatened by the prospect of layoff as a result of every change that comes along – you’ll always have a contingency plan.
  • It allows you to have your finger on the pulse of your career path, to know what’s going on out there,
    because you’ll have been watching what’s happening in your field of interest.

  • It frees you from running from job to job, waiting for the axe to fall, never knowing when you’ll be out on the street
  • It puts control of your work life in your own hands, so you can focus on something long enough to become good at it.
  • It gives you self-confidence because you know you are good at what you do, you enjoy doing it, and you can always find some job in your field of interest

That’s an enviable position to be in. And, it’s really the only route to take, when, for example, the economy goes into a Recession.

My Job in My ‘Field of Interest’ = My Career

As you grow from one job in your field of interest to another, you develop your Career. You take care of it, you cultivate it, you build on it, enhancing it with courses, seminars, distance learning, and/or working at different aspects of it, until you are considered an expert.

This is the easiest and most rewarding way to move through your work life. Your career develops naturally, directed by your interests and your desires.

The Freedom to Move Around

Today, more than at any other time since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1800’s, we have had the freedom to move around and try different jobs, different work environments, and find one that feels good. There are no longer any expectations placed on us to “stick with a job” for 20 years, just to be considered ‘reliable’. In fact, it is now rare that most people, would stay with one job, in the same workplace, for more than 10 years.

Some people would consider that lucky. It happens in universities, hospitals, government positions, more among professionals. Professionals usually take the option to move on, as they manage their careers. They decide what kind of experience they need to make them more marketable in their line of work, and they take the steps to make that happen.

The majority of workers try to stay with a job as long as they can, because of family and mortgage commitments. But more and more the trend is for them to move around wherever they can find a better paying job.

Currently, with the downturn in the economy, until it recovers, most workers will continue in their present jobs. That makes it more important to be sure the ‘field’ you are in, is one that you have special abilities for. Working through the assessments on this site will help to evaluate your suitability for any job you are in, or are considering.

Today’s Workplace vs. Yesterday’s

Do you remember what the workplace used to look like just 10-15 yrs ago?

  • You graduated from school and secured a ‘permanent job’ with a good company.
  • If you were good at your job, you could expect to move up in the company receiving regular promotions.
  • The company arranged periodic on-the-job training to keep you current.
  • You attended company-sponsored Professional Development Seminars, as management prepared you to take on more responsibility.
  • The company’s motto was: “A company is only as good as its workers”.
  • The company invested in its workers and expected them to stay with the company.
  • Workers stayed because they were being taken care of.
  • Company picnics were held to promote a feeling of family loyalty to the company.
  • There was a company pension plan, which every worker contributed to, and those contributions were matched by the employer’s contributions.
  • After 25 years, you could take early retirement with a decent pension.
  • That pension was invested wisely and therefore, could be depended upon to be there as a sound security base.

What Happened?
In an insecure and uncertain business environment, companies have had to become more competitive in order to survive. This also applies to government jobs which used to be considered untouchable. The shrinking of our world to a “Global Village” which allows us to move around easily, and the rapidly changing technological advances are creating a highly competitive, ever-changing work environment.

Outsourcing & Contracting Out
It has allowed many jobs to be done cheaper offshore. Outsourcing is now common. This results in the downsizing of staff at the local level. The ‘lucky’ ones, who are not laid off, are reassigned to redefined jobs, that include a lot more work and increased responsibility, with the stress loads that come with that. To save on benefits, many jobs are being contracted out. Companies only pay for the time they need a worker’s skills. They have no obligation to pay these workers any benefits.

Severance Packages & Buyouts
Look around you. In the news, we hear of more and more loyal workers who have been with their company for 15-20 being paid off with severance packages, if they’re lucky. They are being bought out, so the company no longer needs to pay pensions, to a group of workers, who are more of a liability to the company, than anything else. The times are changing. Employers no longer need to hold onto workers.

The Workplace is in Transition

If you search, you can find exceptions to this trend, because the transition is still in process. Looking down the road, however, workers can no longer expect to rely on unions to protect their jobs. They can no longer depend on employers to be around when they retire, to pay their pensions.

Seniority and length of service is rarely valued as they used to be, as employers look for ways to release older workers from their jobs, rather than pay disability leaves to those who can no longer cope with the demands of those jobs.

A New Breed of Worker
So workers are quickly catching on to what is happening. Workers today need to be adaptable, capable, able to deliver quality, and top-notch service.

They must be able to collaborate and share information on teams. Project work, where a group of skilled workers come together for a short time to achieve specific goals, with a target end date, are taking the place of traditional ways of looking at work.

Creative, workers who are focused on getting the job done, who are able to alternatively lead or follow, as required for the good of the project, are preferred. Job sharing, talent pooling, consulting, contracting, telecommuting, all are being used to competitive advantage in the work world we find ourselves in today.

UP NEXT . . .

This Link Will Take You Through Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Program

Links to Step 1 - The 5 Career Tests on This Site

Step 1 - Discovering Who You Are
Links to Step 2 - Career Exploration

Step 2 - Exploring Your Career Options
Links to Step 3 - Getting into the Nitty Gritty

Step 3 - Doing the Research For Your Dream Job
Links to Step 4 - Taking Care of Your Career

Step 4 - Managing Your Career - Doing Career Planning
Are you wondering: "What Career is Best for Me?"

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